The Students at PSP
The mean age of our student body is about 45. Virtually all of our students have been successful in their career prior to entering the Professional School of Psychology; however, most of our students were discouraged earlier in their career from pursuing a graduate degree in psychology. The barriers and sources of discouragement vary: lack of funds to pay for their education, gender or racial biases, family obligations (child-rearing, bread-winner, etc.), or a lack of encouragement from significant people in their lives. Now, in mid-life or later life, they have decided to move forward with their graduate education. Given this common scenario, we have attracted an exceptional student body over the years: lawyers, physicians, police officers, university professors, chemists, ministers, nurses, government officials, to name but a few of the entering professions.
On this web-site we are pleased to briefly describe the accomplishments of several of our students. We periodically change the students we are featuring so that we can do justice to the remarkable record of those enrolled at our school.
A Featured Student: Gail Johnson Vaughan
Gail serves as the Executive Director (ED) of Mission Focused Solutions in Nevada County, California and has for many years played a leading role in advocating for adoption policies in California and elsewhere in the United States. She served as ED of Sierra Adoption Services from 1985 through 2007 where she managed five successful demonstration projects, including ongoing collaborative programs with Placer and Nevada Counties. Her ability to successfully manage ambitious, innovative model programs and influence transformative improvements in child welfare policy and practice and form successful public/private collaborations to increase the permanency for children of all ages in foster care are widely respected, leading California’s Senate President Pro Tempore to say “”Renowned for her superb ability to forge solutions to the challenges that face the child welfare community, Gail Johnson refused to passively participate in a system that allowed California’s most fragile and vulnerable children to languish in a broken foster care system.”
Gail chairs the California 94 Youth Permanence Policy Task Force and participates in child welfare improvement initiatives at the local, regional, state and national levels. Her recognitions include the Health & Human Services Adoption Excellence Award, 2008; CA Foster Care Month Coalition “Change a Lifetime Award” 2008; and The Sacramento Business Journal “Women Who Mean Business” Award, 2005. Gail was featured in Positively M.A.D., Making a Difference in Your Organizations, Communities and the World, published by Berrett-Koehler in 2004.
A Featured Student: Richard Lim, M.A.
Richard Lim is the Managing Director of The Relational Counseling Studio in Singapore. The Relational Counseling Studio has assembled a multicultural team of counsellors, supervisors and trainers. Team members provide a wide variety of specialized practices to meet the diverse and changing mental health issues facing Singapore residents. Richard Lim has been a Consultant Psychotherapist in private practice for more than twelve years specializing in couple therapy and psychodynamic individual psychotherapy. He is also a certified Clinical Supervisor (APA) who provides psychodynamic supervision for counselors and psychologists in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region.
Mr. Lim contributes actively to community wellness programs and conducts regular training for the public and private sector in applying psychology at the workplace for better performance and work life harmony. Richard Lim trains and lectures in graduate level programs and courses for various universities including the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. He serves as President of the Psychotherapy Association of Singapore and is the Director of PSP’s MA programs in Southeast Asia.
A Featured Student: Norman Hering
Norman Hering currently serves as Clinical Director of the North Bay Recovery Center in San Rafael, California. Norman has been in the mental health field since 1986 when he began working as a childcare worker at Edgewood Center for Children and Families in San Francisco, CA. It was the children of Edgewood who inspired him to return to school and earn his Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Norman has worked in a variety of settings, including outpatient, partial hospitalization, residential, inpatient and private practice. He also has worked as a case manager at a commercial managed care company, authorizing all levels of chemical dependency and psychiatric treatment. Norman has also belonged to the California Coalition for Ethical Mental Health Care where he was tasked with providing public education through presentations at health care meetings and articles for various publications.
Norman has done everything from working as a front line staff person to Executive Director and remains passionate about the work. He has also appeared on “20/20” and CNN and has written several educational brochures for professionals and consumers. As a lifelong learner, he is presently pursuing his doctorate in psychology at The Professional School of Psychology.
The Work of PSP Students
To give prospective students and other people interested in the Professional School of Psychology a taste of our student’s remarkable written work, we feature several essays written by our current clinical and organizational students, as well as essays prepared by our alumni/ae when they were enrolled at PSP.